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SUP Colorado River
Black Canyon SUP
Description Itinerary Photos Reviews Questions Packing List


What is included on a guided trip?
Guided trips are all inclusive. You will get personalized service, the best equipment, healthy snacks, and an ACA certified Level 2 SUP instructor. We even offer complimentary hotel shuttles from the Las Vegas Strip. You'll have a dry bag to keep your essentials safe, and we will size your SUP and paddle to fit you properly. Your guide has teaching experience, is familiar with water currents, will spend personal time offering instruction, and will share facts about the region. If you are a first time paddler, we recommend a guided trip to learn the basic stand up paddleboarding techniques.

What kind of stand up paddleboards do you use?
Our stand up paddleboard lessons and trips are equipped with high performance SUPs made by Hovie SUP, Bic Sports,and Yolo. We use paddles from Werner, Quickblade, Sawyer, Waterman, Hovie, and BicSports. We carry a variety of sizes to fit a variety of paddlers. No need to worry, we can set you up with a board and paddle to fit your needs.
stand up paddleboard rental lake mead

I don't know how to swim. Can I still go?
This is up to you. Basic swimming skills are recommended, even though you will be wearing a life vest the entire time. Swimming, in most cases, is optional, but can be very refreshing in the summer heat. Nature can be unpredictable though, and there is always the possibility of becoming seperated from your board if there are strong winds or waves. We take every precaution to minimize risks and provide an enjoyable experience. Personal flotation devices are properly fitted to you and mandatory on all trips. Our guides are professionally trained in rescue techniques, as well as First Aid and CPR. They know how to read currents, wind, and can assist you if the need arises. While we take every precaution to minimize risks and provide a safe, enjoyable experience, ultimately the decision to take this risk is up to you.

Is there white water? Can I go on the river?
On Lake Mead you will find smooth glassy waters in early morning, with choppy waves developing as the day heats up and winds increase. The lake is just that - a big lake, and therefore has little to no current. Most beginners start their SUP careers here. The Colorado River is moving flat water, with small riffles, strong currents, and distinct eddy lines. Depending on wind, weather, and flow rates, there can be choppy water, rolling waves, and even large swells along the way. The water is cold, and other unforeseen circumstances may pose a threat. Our guides are prepared for this and will steer you in the right direction for a memorable experience, however we recommend the river SUP trip for upper level intermediate to advanced paddlers only.

Will I get wet?
Yes. This is a paddling trip! You will definitely get wet at least up to your knees. Anything above that is considered a bonus. Most people choose to jump in and go swimming to cool off, so wear your bathing suit.

What kind of experience do your guides have?
Our guides have varying degrees of personal outdoor experience, and all successfully complete training that is above and beyond what is required by local, state, and federal regulations. They possess a vast knowledge of the history of the area, wildlife, plants, weather patterns, and river currents. Before they can become trip leaders, they must undergo an intense training programs which includes group management, risk management, rescue techniques, wind and weather, river kayaking, towing, physical skills tests, and written tests. All guides are certified in CPR/AED, Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace ethics, and all USDOT regulations. We carry satellite phones, marine radios, SPOT GPS trackers, or cell phones on our trips.

What should I bring/wear?
In summer: Shorts and a T-shirt, along with a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Wear a bathing suit under layers of clothing. Some people prefer long sleeves to protect from sun exposure. Be sure to wear river sandals or old tennis shoes that can get wet. Flip flops are not suitable for the area; the algae and moss is very slippery and flip flops don't give enough support. Water shoes or Teva type sandals will be fine. You should definitely bring a camera or buy a waterproof disposable.
In winter: If you are brave enough to venture in winter, we will take you. Consider wearing a wetsuit and bringing some warm dry layers to change into when you are finished paddling. Neoprene booties are nice to keep feet warm. If you really want luxury, try a drysuit. A ski-type beanie or hat that covers your ears is oh-so-nice and a light pair of gloves will keep your digits warm and toasty. Bring sunglasses and sunscreen. Don't forget the camera!

What if I am a beginner?
We are all beginners when we start, it is okay! We pride ourselves on teaching and watching students progress to become confident stand up paddlers. Our guides are professionals and we introduce newcomers to the sport everyday. A high percentage of our trips consist of first-time paddlers or those who have tried it once or twice. Because of this, we've chosen sturdy paddleboards and adjustable paddles. What better way to try a new sport?

Is there a minimum age requirement?
For SUP lessons and trips, we recommend that participants are 14 years old or 100 lbs. if they wish to paddle their own SUP. Your guide may rearrange the schedule throughout the day to balance the ability of the group. If you have children younger than that, please call us to discuss the options.

How much should I tip my guide?
Your guides work very hard to make sure your experience is rewarding and memorable. They often spend hours preparing before your trip to ensure your comfort and physical needs are met. During a trip, your guide is constantly on the lookout to minimize risks and maximize enjoyment. They appreciate your verbal praise and thanks, as well as monetary gratuities. Any cash tips can be given to the guide at the end of the trip. Gratuities generally range between 10%-20% of the total trip price, at your discretion.

Do you rent or sell equipment?
Yes to both. We rent paddleboards, paddles, coolers, pfd's, leashes, and more. Digital waterproof cameras can be rented for the day, and photos burned to a high resolution CD for you to take home. In our retail shop you can find last minute items such as sunscreen, dry bags, waterproof cameras, batteries, film, squirt guns, etc. If you are looking for a new SUP, we can definitely set you up with everything you need. Want to save a few bucks? We sell used equipment as well.

Do I need to make a reservation?
Space is limited, so you should make your reservations as soon as possible. We try to limit our group size to 6 or less, and Black Canyon trips require permits which can sell out several months in advance. Holidays and weekends book up quickly, so be sure to call ahead. As soon as you pick a date we can reserve your SUP lesson or rental for you.

Where do we meet and what time will I get back?
We will pick you up at your hotel between 9:00-9:30 a.m. Lake trips last about 5 hours, door to door. River trips in Black Canyon will last all day, usually from 7am to 5pm approximately. If you would like to meet us at our shop so you can explore in your own car afterwards, just let us know.

What is the best time of year to go?
Spring, Summer, and Fall! Our guides favor the fall and winter with calm, glassy waters, no motor boats, and fewer crowds. But our guests definitely favor the summer when days are hot and waters are warm. Winds can sometimes be brutal during March and April. Summer is just plain hot, but is still our busiest time of year. We run trips year round, with a season for everyone!

Do you offer any discounts for children (or other)?
Locals receive $20 off any guided trip and $5 off any rental (must present a valid local ID).

Do you supply alcohol? May we bring our own?
Alcohol is not allowed on our guided day trips. For the safety of our guides, drivers, guests, and everyone involved - there is zero tolerance for drunk or intoxicated guests. If you show up intoxicated, you will be turned away without a refund. Please do not show up drunk.

Are there minimum participant requirements?
Yes. Our minimum number of participants is 2.

Should I buy travel insurance?
If you are concerned about the possibility of having to cancel, we strongly suggest you purchase trip cancellation insurance to protect your vacation investment. Our cancellation policy will apply in every instance, with no exceptions for any reason. Desert Adventures is not responsible for any expenses incurred due to travel delays, flight cancellations, or illness. Desert Adventures assumes no financial responsibility for personal injury, emergency evacuation, or equipment lost or damaged in any way.

What if I have to cancel?
We have a 14 day cancellation policy. Cancellations made 2 weeks prior to departure date will receive a full refund. Cancellations made within those dates will be issued a percentage of their refund, with absolutely no refunds or rescheduling within 48 hours. If you must reschedule, we require 48 hours notice and rescheduling fees will apply. Desert Adventures will not issue any refund for leaving a trip early. Trips run rain or shine. Desert Adventures reserves the right to cancel trips due to weather or unsafe conditions. In this case, we will reschedule, issue a credit, or refund money, depending on individual circumstances. For more information see our Payment & Cancellation Policies section, or call our offices.

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